May 10, 2017

Alumnae trio to speak at 2017 Commencement ceremonies

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Anne McKeig, a 1989 graduate of St. Catherine, will address the College for Women commencement ceremonies. Photo supplied.

Three state and national leaders will address commencement ceremonies at St. Catherine University May 20 and 21. The University will hold three ceremonies — one each for the College for Adults, Graduate College and the College for Women — at The O'Shaughnessy on the St. Paul campus.

College for Adults

Kelsey Johnson ’04, MAOL’12 will present at the College for Adults ceremony Saturday, May 20, at 11:30 a.m.

Johnson is currently president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Applied Ethics and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from St. Kate's. She is an experienced lobbyist and spent five years in the private business sector and three years in various roles with the Minnesota House, Senate and Attorney General’s office. Previously, she represented the Grocery Manufacturers Association as director of state government affairs and served as consultant with Hill Capitol Strategies, where she successfully represented diverse clients on a variety of issues.

Graduate College ceremonies

District Court Judge Joy Bartscher ‘82 will address students from the Graduate College, Saturday, May 20, at 3 p.m.

Bartscher is a judge in Minnesota's Second Judicial District. She was appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton in October of 2012 and was elected in 2014. Her current term expires in Jan. 2021. At St. Kate's, she studied social work and Spanish, and used her bilingual skills as an interpreter for the U.S. Department of Justice.

District Court Judge Joy Bartscher '82. Photo supplied.

Previously, she was an associate attorney at Rogosheske, Sieben & Atkins, P.L.L.C., where she handled criminal defense, personal injury and family cases. She also served as executive director of the Neighborhood Justice Center where she provided legal services to low income and underserved constituencies. She is past president and board member of the Riverview Economic Development Association, and also served on the the Supreme Court Interpreter Advisory Committee. Bartscher was recognized for her pro bono services by William Mitchell College of Law as one of their 100 alumni "who have made a difference."

Bartscher’s mother, Patricia (May 10, 1932–March 2, 1994), was a 1954 graduate of St. Catherine and returned to her alma mater to teach nursing from 1972 to 1992. Her sister, Mary Geller, received a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish in 1985 from St. Kate’s, while Bartscher’s aunt, Sunny Bach Wicka, received a bachelor of arts in communications in 1955, served on St. Kate’s Board of Trustees and was an active alumnae association volunteer.

College for Women ceremonies

Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Anne McKeig ‘89 will deliver the commencement address for the St. Kate's College for Women Sunday, May 21, at 2 p.m.

McKeig is the first Native American to serve on the court and was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton in June of 2016. Prior to her appointment, McKeig was a judge in the Fourth Judicial District and the presiding judge in the Fourth District’s Family Court. She previously worked as an assistant Hennepin County attorney in the Child Protection Division for over 16 years, where she specialized in Indian Child Welfare cases.

Justice McKeig is currently an adjunct professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and a frequent speaker at many local and national conferences on the issue of Indian Child Welfare. She is also a current member, and the past chair, of the Board of the Division of Indian Work. A member of the White Earth Ojibwe tribe, McKeig earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from St. Kate's in 1989 and J.D. from Hamline University School of Law in 1992.

Her mother, Cecilia Wattles McKeig, is a 1961 graduate of St. Catherine and received the University's 2016 Medal of Distinction and 2010-2011 Alumnae Award.